WESTERLY — Dwight & Nicole, a Boston-based American indie-soul band fronted by Dwight Ritcher and Nicole Nelson, will join the ever-popular CarLeans Saturday night at the Knick.
The CarLeans, a Connecticut-based trio featuring award-winning singer-songwriters Jim Carpenter (guitar, vocals,) Sarah MacLean (guitar, vocals) and Corina Malbaurn (vocals, bass) are known for their skill in blending their diverse musical backgrounds to create a captivating sound. Their music, which is rooted in Americana/folk music, also extends through country, pop, blues and Cajun traditions.
Their original songs have been called “raw and powerful” by critics and their delivery and live performances “honest and marked by well-placed musicianship and vocal presence.”
Ritcher and Nelson met in Boston when they were both just out of school and cutting their teeth on the local club scene. They discovered a shared love of classic blues greats like Albert King and Lightnin’ Hopkins, covering songs by their vocal heroes Mavis Staples, Jimmy Witherspoon and Etta James, all the while obsessing over writing and honing their own original music.
The pair began performing live as a duo, touring the Northeast and developing a strong fan base. They then self-released two critically acclaimed albums through crowd-funding. Over the next several years they would become well known regionally for their dynamic live shows and well-crafted songs, gaining plenty of industry respect with nods for nine Boston Music Awards, seven Boston Phoenix Awards, seven Daysie Awards, and six New England Music Awards.
Both Ritcher and Nelson possess strong natural voices that, according to one critic, “can stop you dead in your tracks.”
Whether belting or whispering, their singing commands attention. They are both also captivating performers, multi-instrumentalists, and strong songwriters. This rare mix finds them standing out from the crowd of up-and-coming East Coast bands. Ritcher plays a Gibson Flying V guitar — he picked up his first one as a teenager in Long Branch N.J. — and he has never played anything else. Nelson, a gifted singer and classical violinist from New York City, has described the bass as her first real love. She picked it up again in 2015 and has not looked back. The recent addition of powerhouse drummer Ezra Oklan to the band has solidified their sound. They took this combination into the studio in 2017 with spectacular results.
Dwight & Nicole’s 2018 EP “Electric Lights” was recorded live to analog tape with multi-Grammy Award-nominated producer Joel Hamilton (Aaron Neville, The Meters, The Black Keys, Yoko Ono) at Studio G in Brooklyn. Hamilton, undoubtedly, captures their sound and live energy. They have just self-released two singles — the shimmering soul-anthem “Wait” and the dusty rocker “Hi-Lo” — ahead of the EP, which have begun to introduce their music to a whole new wave of listeners. The release has also just landed D&N their first major-label distribution deal through Orchard / Sony Music, and an Independent Music Award nomination.